welcome to galena


Considering the steps
Originally uploaded by missjasmine.

Note: This was originally posted as part of a larger entry for news from the flip front.

Jacinda wanted to go to the Detroit Zoo for her birthday. I know you’re probably thinking “But Jasmine. Detroit in February? Wouldn’t you rather go to the Brookfield, or even the zoo in Lincoln Park? The penguins would love to see you.” But Detroit has this massive exhibit called The Arctic Ring of Life, the world’s largest polar bear exhibit. There is a replica of an Inuit village, and a clear tunnel winds underneath water so you can watch polar bears swim over you. At least, that’s what the web site says. But, we got a late start, and had we left Chicago at 9am this would have gotten us to the zoo one hour before closing. Boo.

So off to Galena, with a brief stop at Culver’s for butter burgers and fried walleye. Driving over hills, actual hills which can be scarce in the Midwest. Past dilapidated barns and tiny antiqueshops, we arrived in a valley full of Greek Revival mansions, cobblestone streets, dim shops offering everything from birdfeeders to homemade ice cream to leather goods, architectural elements made from the stone of nearby quarries. Jacinda dragged me and Joe up to Bench Street so we could covet the wonderfully restored houses.

Galena’s hills are steep. It makes for excellent hiking, and I don’t wonder that it would make for great running. All those hilly streets, nearly devoid of traffic. All the old folks drove around as we walked, stopped to consider the valley (which looked a bit like Pennsylvania in some parts), then tromped back down to Main Street for ice cream. More window shopping, then back to the car so we could return to civilization, full of oases (the new ones on I-94 are downright posh), decent cell phone reception, and flat streets which do not tax my smoker’s lungs. On the way to and from Galena, Jacinda and I tortured Joe by making him play the 80s station so we could sing along. It is my idea that one day Jacinda and I will chuck our jobs to form the ultimate Hall & Oates tribute band. Yes, we are that talented.

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~ by Jasmine on February 10, 2005.

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